Coronavirus: 54% of hand sanitizers are ineffective against micro-organisms – UDS Survey

A survey conducted by the University for Development Studies (UDS) has revealed that about 54 percent of hand sanitizers sold on the Ghanaian market are ineffective against micro-organisms.

However, measures to tackle the spread of the novel Coronavirus has led to a shortage of items such as hand sanitizers, nose masks, and hand gloves.

According to the UDS research, only 43 percent of the sanitizers had minor effectiveness over the micro-organisms with only three percent being effective as well as seven out of eight samples of methylated spirits had no effectiveness.

Microbiologist at the Department of Biotechnology at UDS, Dr. Courage Kosi Setsoafia Saba explaining the research said; “48 samples of Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, antiseptics, liquid soaps with antibacterial properties were purchased from five cities: Koforidua, Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Bolgatanga to test its efficacy level against micro-organisms.”

“28 Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, eight methylated spirits, six Alcoholic beverages and six locally produced Akpeteshie from different bars were tested using the Agar Diffusion Test,” he told JoyNews.

Dr Setsoafia added that of the 28 alcohol-based hand sanitizers, six were produced in Ghana, 17 were imported, eight from China, three from UK, two from Ivory Coast, two from Indonesia, one each from Italy and USA and five had no country of origin for the test.

He added that the research also swabbed the hands of 50 people on campus which comprised of students and staff using different types of hand sanitizers with all except but one, which represented 98 percent, had a growth on the solution nutrient; Agar.

According to him, this simply means, 98 percent of the sampled population per the findings still had micro-organisms on their hands after using the alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Meanwhile, Trade Union Congress of Ghana (TUC) has drawn President Akufo-Addo’s attention to the short supply of hand sanitizers across the country.

They argue that even if there are available hand sanitizers and other preventive items, many cannot afford them because of the significant proportion of Ghanaians living in poverty.

Presently, Ghana’s Coronavirus cases have jumped from 68 to 132 as at today, March 26, 2020.

The death toll, however, remains 3, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed.


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